Student pilot assessments

Assessments for Flying Training Schools

The framework for assessment of applicants to flying training schools is different from recruitment to companies, including their ab-initio cadet programs, because the main part of pilot production is for the aviation industry in general, and for a range of different operations.

Apart from having more generic requirements, most commercial flying training schools operate with a persistent dilemma. They want and need a certain volume of students, but to enroll students who are unable to progress and meet the standards is in several ways an undesirable outcome.

The first and tangible effect is that it drains training and management resources, and drop-outs during training means reduced income for the school. For the student pilot, termination of training is in most cases a painful personal experience, lost money and time. To get the pilot licenses and then consistently being turned down when seeking employment is also a sad experience. For employing companies, a low pass-rate when trying to recruit fresh pilots means increased costs and other challenges. Finally, to produce pilots unable to meet industry standards is a potential flight safety risk.

SIAP assessments of applicants for flying training are designed to explore the potentials for a successful completion of the education and graduation as a competitive candidate on the job market.

A robust admission program means to map cognitive capacities, patterns in behavior and personal functioning. But the assessment also include:

  • To provide information about the realities of pilot training, what it gives of hardships and takes of disciplined, dedicated work
  • To explore what the motivating factors are, and to evaluate the potential for developing a genuine pilot motivation if their present knowledge about a pilot career is minimal
  • To check whether the young applicant, perhaps for the first time, is ready to be managers of their own life without the support and services they have enjoyed previously in life
  • To evaluate the potential for acquiring the work attitudes that is required for safe pilot operations, CRM and a future employment

One goal when assessing applicants for pilot training, is to enable the applicant to examine whether a pilot career is a realistic and promising project or not. As a part of that, to give guidance about areas that are likely to require extra focus and attention.

A second goal is to make the training school informed about the assets and potentials of the applicant, enabling them to consider whether they are ready to go for it or not.

By this, the assessment of student pilot applicants is more of a counselling service than it is selection. The applicant and the school make their more informed decisions and reduce the likelihood of later undesirable outcomes.

Individual Counselling; when considering a pilot career

Individual counselling with assessment of pilot potentials is an option when it is hard to decide whether the pilot dream should remain so, or to start pilot training. One thing is to believe it will be a great career, but both the aspiring pilot (and parents) may want to have a professional advice on how realistic the pilot dream really is.

Commercial flying training schools have varying kinds of admission tests, but having passed is not necessarily the same as having the needed potential for a successful pilot career.

The assessment procedure in counselling is similar to what is described above for flying training schools. The difference is that in individual counselling the results go only to the potential applicant.
The focus is on the potential for both a successful completion of training, and for developing into a professional well-functioning and competitive pilot, partly in general, but also with regard to any specific career goals the counselled candidate has. Pilot careers can be quite versified, and so also the potentials for succeeding with one career line compared to another.

The counselling ends with feedback and advices. The candidate may learn that the potentials are ensuring and fine, and that dedicated studies and work is most likely to fulfill the pilot ambition.

Or, the results and evaluations end with the recommendation to consider some other career which is matching the performance profile and assets better. Such a recommendation can be a great disappointment, but for some also a relief because they took the effort of checking out a dream, and may go on with their career plan B.

However, some counselling candidates do show both good potentials and some shortcomings. It is often about being young with limited life experience, no lack of capacities but of ability to use them efficiently enough. Sometimes it is about gaining specific skills, like in basic mathematics, because the present lack of it will represent a too high extra workload in the theoretical part of the pilot training. The shortcomings can be of different kinds, but are in these cases also assessed as manageable by a bit of time, goal-directed efforts and development. And then, the candidate can be ready and well prepared to go for the pilot dream.

The decision about if and when to start pilot training is up to the applicant, but the counselling goal is to make that decision based on a lot more knowledge and realism.

Counselling can be arranged online or on-site at Nesodden close to Oslo.